Being And Doing

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1

being and doing

Action Is Necessary . . .

Action, I have often said, is the last word in “attraction” (as in “The Law Of”). And I emphasize again the importance of taking actions to reach your goals. Faith can move mountains, but you also need a shovel and a pail. However, I recognize that a person can get caught up in doing for the sake of doing – endless to-do lists, constant activity. Carrying around the feeling that you always have to be doing something does not lead to flourishing.

Sometimes we get caught in a trap of activity simply because “doing” is much easier than “being”. It’s easy to see and measure what we do – the results are there for all to see. So are the results of not doing. [Walsh] However, our activity can be more fulfilling and more effective if we stop from time to time to reflect on what we are doing and why we are doing it. “I am a human being, not a human doing,” said Dr. Wayne Dyer. “Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.”

. . . But Not Sufficient

“Be. Don’t do. Ours is a culture obsessed with to-do lists: An obsession we share, as one look at our post-it collection will prove. The compulsion to ‘do’ goes beyond the occasional temptation to give advice, or desire to fix, or to correct (all of which should be squelched, pronto.) We want to be the perfect host. We want to make everyone feel instantly at ease, and taken care of. We want to say the perfect things, and create the perfect space, and cook up a main dish that could leave any foodie salivating for more. Among the themes of the weekend was letting go the constant need to do.” ~ Lennon Flowers “Asking Honest, Open Questions, Resisting the Need to Fix, & Letting the Light In”

Action is necessary but not sufficient. “Without knowledge action is useless,” said Muslim holy man Abu Bakr, “and knowledge without action is futile.” Sometimes, before we jump into action, we need to consider, to reflect, to contemplate, to ponder. We need to be.

Being Requires Involvement

To Be is not a passive act. It doesn’t mean staring at a screen (be it TV, movie, computer or smartphone) – that is a form of “passive consumerism”. [Walsh] Shobha Naidu, an intercultural coach from India says, “’Being’ can best be described as a reflective state, one of contentment and awareness, and in which one is more inward looking and in that sense, self sufficient. When one feels a heightened sense of ‘being’, there is a greater awareness of the present moment, and the person feels anchored in the now.” [Naidu] Being may consist of prayer or meditation, walking quietly in nature, or any contemplative practice that helps you tap into your higher, Empowered self, to the Divine; to get in touch with that inner power some call Spirit and many others call God. [Walsh]

“Being” in this sense, helps with “doing”. It guides our actions and makes our activity less frantic and more focused. Being brings awareness to doing and can lead to Right Action – to do in mindfulness.

Being And Doing

“Where is your focus–on ‘being’ or on ‘doing’? Both are very important, but they must be maintained in a careful balance. If we go too far over on the doing side, we’re definitely risking missing one of the most important aspects of who we are, and we’re risking never getting in touch with that deeper part of ourselves that can bring us fulfillment and peace. When we ask ourselves why we’re here on this planet, I’m pretty sure that the answer is closer to ‘finding out who I am’ than it is ‘accomplishing more things than my neighbor.'” ~ Tom Walsh “Doing vs. Being”

So Do – take the right actions that help lead you to your goals and that help you maintain a good life. But also take time to Be – to reflect on your actions, those you’ve taken and those you plan to take. You’ll accomplish more by doing less – and that’s Excelerating!

Taking Excelerated Action™ in pursuit of your goals is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being and a life of meaning, purpose and service.

Read more about the Excelerated Life™.


Lennon Flowers, “Asking Honest, Open Questions, Resisting the Need to Fix, & Letting the Light In”, September 17, 2014, April 23, 2016

Shobha Naidu, “Power Tool: Being vs. Doing”, June 6, 2006, April 24, 2016

Tom Walsh, “Doing vs. Being”, April 24, 2016

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